Is Your Mobile Device Delivering a Sub-Optimal Business Experience?

The "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) movement has evolved quite a bit in the past few years.

Originally, the lines between consumer and employee were blurred so significantly that IT simply said "no" and stayed with corporate-issued devices, including PCs and enterprise-issued phones. Then, as consumer mobile technology matured, personal usage soared, and business productivity became a core focus, the popular sentiment among IT managers shifted to “just say yes” in order to support whatever device employees wanted to use for work.

However, as BYOD programs matured and data security risks with mobile devices at work increased, many IT departments found themselves unable to effectively support a wide range of devices, and some found that the different platforms caused collaboration disruption.

Similarly, different combinations of device and platform can affect the features of productivity software – “just say yes” BYOD programs run the risk of employees working with software that appears and operates significantly differently on one device than the devices of their coworkers.  In fact a recent article advised that saying no - the right way - and for the right reasons - may be the most powerful skill a CIO can learn.

Balancing Yes and No.

Our conclusion is Yes to BYOD but only to devices that support business goals of enhanced employee and business productivity while meeting data security and personal privacy requirements.  If they don't, then No to support for a particular device. 

Prowess Consulting put Microsoft OneNote – the popular productivity and collaboration tool – to the test on four mobile devices to determine which platform is the best fit for business use. This two-part blog series will cover the findings of their study, starting this week with OneNote in its ideal, highest-functioning state, and later focusing on OneNote’s challenges on other platforms.

- IT Peer Network Administrator

OneNote in its Ideal Environment - The Desktop App

Prowess concluded that the OneNote desktop app provided the most benefit to employees due to the full business-ready feature set through the range of collaboration and productivity tools.

These capabilities include:

Audio and Video Recording: Users can record audio and video files and embed the files in notebooks for playback and sharing.

Expanded Usefulness of Media Files: Users are able to index the text in embedded documents, pictures, and recordings so that it is searchable and, in some cases, available for copying through optical character recognition and phonetic indexing.

Advanced Formatting and Proofing: These capabilities are more than cosmetic: comprehensive, granular options for paragraph formatting and styles help make raw text more readable and help team members collaborate effectively. Proofing options on these platforms also extend beyond
 the cosmetic. In addition to translation features, proofing in the desktop version is also available in nearly twice as many languages as the iPad version (52 versus 27).

More Notebook Organization Options: Users can move entire notebooks, move and copy sections and pages, view previous versions of pages, and merge pages to keep things simple.

Integration with Other Microsoft Software: Business users can send tasks and emails from Outlook to OneNote and sync completion of those tasks. They can also easily import meeting details from Outlook into notes and can choose to take meeting notes independently or share the meeting notes with colleagues

Data Protection: This version supports Information Rights Management technologies such as Active Directory® Rights Management Services (AD RMS). These features can help protect information from unauthorized access in a fast-moving, collaborative environment.

While the  desktop app provides full business capabilities, not all platforms deliver an ideal experience. Next week’s post – part 2 of 2 in this series – will showcase the results of Prowess’s OneNote tests on these platforms and devices.

In the comments, tell us: how have you addressed BYOD's challenges? Do you just say "Yes," "No," "Maybe," or "Depends"?

Is business collaboration a top-of-mind issue for you? Check out Prowess's study on collaboration, both inside and outside the firewall.

For more conversations about IT Center and BYOD, click on the hashtags below:

#ITCenter #BYOD

Portions of this blog originally appeared as a whitepaper from Prowess Consulting.